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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawUS Immigration: The Nebulous Nature Of 221g Refusals

US Immigration: The Nebulous Nature Of 221g Refusals

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggest, we are talking about 221g refusals. For those who are unaware, in the aftermath of an interview for example for a CR-1, IR-1, K-3 or K-1 US Visa, in the aftermath of an interview, a Consular Officer may issue what is called a 221g refusal which basically is a document that says "hey we are refusing to issue this Visa based on something we have found remiss in the application." Now here in Thailand, let me actually sort of be clear on this, I have noticed other Immigration practitioners, I am very much a backwards practitioner in terms of US Immigration to my colleagues in the United States. My colleagues back in the States deal with things from their office in the States. Now some of them may travel around and may help with Consular Processing in other countries but it's kind of rare to find an American Attorney that does Consular Processing that's based in the country where they do it, and that's kind of their little piece of the river if you will, and I have always viewed Thailand as that. I mean at this point in my career, I don't really process much of any other case load in the region around Thailand. I mostly just stick with Thailand. I am not saying I can't. I process cases out of Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines Singapore, Malaysia, even a couple times, actually never done Vietnam, but the long story short, the point I am trying to make is I am based out here. 221gs for practitioners back Stateside, when I talk to them in a professional context at meetings like the American Immigration Lawyers Association, I always find it fascinating because they get very upset about 221gs and I can totally see why because it's really hard to deal with these things from back in the States. 

Meanwhile different countries, different Embassies in different countries, deal with 221g very differently. So for example so-called high fraud posts may issue a 221g which effectively results in a denial of the case. Here in Thailand, a country which has a long history of relations with the United States, 190 years in fact of Treaty Alliance relationship with the United States and also has a long history of not committing Immigration fraud, Thailand is not considered a high fraud post in terms of US Immigration. This changes the way in which in my opinion, 22gs are dealt with. 221gs are not utilized here in Thailand at least in my experience as a way of just outright denying the case. Usually a 221g is issued and it says, "look we are refusing this until further documentation is presented and then we will re-address the issue." It has been my experience, I have addressed many 221gs over the years; I have done some of them in person. It has been a long time since I have done that because quite honestly I don't like leaving the office, going all the way down to the Embassy to deal with that but yeah, long story short, 221gs are a real problem to deal with for some folks. I have found it's just kind of part of our routine. We get them sometimes, we don't get them sometimes; I just sort of build it in at the back of my mind as a possibility. Yes I understand it can be stressful for those who are going through this process, but understand there is light at the end of the tunnel with regard to a 221g here in Thailand. Usually it just means, get them what they want, give it to them and get your visa issued. But again, all cases are different. For those of you who get a little overwhelmed by these concepts and this overall process, it may not be a terrible idea to contact a legal professional, gain some insight and guidance into how best to proceed.